Checking out Portland - let's hear it

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by Jazz62, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Jazz62

    Jazz62 Long timer

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    Mrs. Jazz and I are coming to Portland for a few days.

    We're thinking about moving out there. Mrs. Jazz has a real job, a school teacher and has an interview at a Portland Public Schools job fair. I'm a jazz musician, internationally known but still make poverty level income. If I didn't teach part time at a university it would barely be that. We're both passionate nature lovers.

    Neither one of us has ever been there but we've been unhappy here in Chicago for a long time. The violent crime, the endless filth, the alarmingly low literacy rate, all the corrupt political bullshit that ultimately makes the cost of living unmanageable etc. It's worn us down. It's gotten so stressful to live here that even the complete unknown can somehow, inexplicably resemble sanctuary.

    I have family in Olympia, WA so we'll spend a few days there (because we have to :evil ) but we'll have 4 days in Portland. What neighborhoods/areas should we not miss in trying to vibe with the town?

    We don't have any specific plans aside from her interview. Just want to try to get a feel for the place. Sorry for the lack of specificity in this post but let's hear it, lay it on me, don't pull any punches.

    Thanks,
    Jazz
    #1
  2. WB-PDX

    WB-PDX Long timer

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    If you are really looking to move here, start by looking at rents on craigslist and focus your time in Portland hanging out in the hoods you can afford.

    Portland's rental (and buying) market is out of control, and is insane in the "cool" neighborhoods.

    Get a feel for downtown/Pearl, and whatever random neighborhoods you find interesting. But one of the things I like best about Portland is how fast and easy it is to not be in Portland. Mt. Hood, the coast, etc. will sell you on the idea of Portland better than any of our adorable super gentrified hipster 'hoods.
    #2
  3. linkweewee

    linkweewee tantum quantum

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    I'd start by checking out the regular weekly PDX ADV meet-ups. Plenty of local knowledge available there...



























    :hide
    #3
  4. tblume

    tblume Always Be Gambling

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    :lol3
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  5. Jazz62

    Jazz62 Long timer

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    Thanks for the reply. I know the real estate scene is off the hook. From what I know about the Pearl it has no appeal nor do the trendoid hipster hoods. I'm 51 and over all that coolness. I'm fine with being "out" a bit. The quick access to some serious natural beauty is a HUGE draw for both of us. Thanks again.
    #5
  6. ironbrewer

    ironbrewer Hopefully Riding

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    My wife and I are looking at it too, but we travel to the northwet whenever we can. She is flying out for a second interview in Salem and I just applied for 2 positions in the south portland area. Its funny because my sister lives in the other south portland.
    #6
  7. Jazz62

    Jazz62 Long timer

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    Yeah I thought about that....for a minute and umm, then...
    #7
  8. richard.bessey

    richard.bessey Hard Rider

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    A couple of thoughts.
    Oregon, you have to pay income tax. But no sales tax.
    Washington, sales tax, but no income tax. Something to think about.

    For what its worth, I would do Portland over Seattle.
    #8
  9. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    If you can deal with the rain and gloom for almost nine months of the year, it's a pretty nice place once you get over the weirdos and the fact that nobody knows where the right lane is on the freeways. Oh and the ridiculous 55 mph limits everywhere. But the scenery is awesome and there's lots of great ADV riding.

    Rob
    #9
  10. BSkye

    BSkye Long timer

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    Mid-40s........Gresham is pretty good living, Saturday market during summer with live music. Springwater Trail bicycle path goes out to Sandy as well as down into Portland, otherwise 2 hours west to the beach, and about 45 minutes to an hour east takes me to Mt. Hood which is chock-full of hiking, cross-country skiing, forest road riding. About 30 to 45 minutes east on I84 takes me into the Columbia River Gorge, which is also full of trails, waterfalls, etc. Some of those trails offer a lot of solitude and fairly raw beauty once you find the trailheads (everyone goes out to Multnomah Falls) . Google "Lost Lake" for good camping, clean water.
    #10
  11. EmptiMind

    EmptiMind Stoopid Youngin'

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    I lived in Portland for a while, and plan on moving back. I'd echo others suggestions. Check rates and see what you can afford. Also, if your wife has a specific location she'd be working at, try to get close to wherever it is. Commuting in that city when everyone goes to work/gets off work is a nightmare. It's much easier to bike/walk. At least that was my experience, but I lived close to downtown.

    In all honesty, one of my favorite places to live and I plan on moving back. No matter where you end up, you're close to nature. You're usually close to a fresh food market. Plus, there's always something fun happening on any given night.
    #11
  12. linkweewee

    linkweewee tantum quantum

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    There is no spoon.
    #12
  13. Marine By Choice

    Marine By Choice Sergeant 0311

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    But if you live in WA and work in OR you will pay OR income tax.
    #13
  14. eric n

    eric n Been here awhile

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    Portlandmaps.com more data than you may expect.

    the closer to the core of Portland the more expensive.

    the currant crime area is east of 82nd south of burnside west of 180th north of foster. this is also the most sterile when it comes to culture. it used to be north and st jhons. some of the locals will speak of felony flats. it has moved around a few times and doesn't really have hard boundary's the spring water corridor bicycle path does have a lot of homeless issues so don't live with it right in your back yard get a few blocks away. also right in the immediate area of the MAX stops does have more random crime. but real crime here is relatively lower than other city's.

    the cost of housing is out of parity with real value because we have a constant growth of newcomers. I have witnessed many from California go nuts after 3 years of rain and dark winters and run back to cali. we also are not practiced for snow driving because we don't get enough of it.

    blue monk on se belmont street is a jazz club.

    powells books is a must see if you think or read at all.

    http://www.fendersmotocafe.com/default.aspx will give you a feel of the Woodstock area

    http://www.mcmenamins.com/ you could spend the whole 4 days just touring these places. kennedy school will put you in inner north east. bagdad theater hawthorn district.

    then there is the coffee crawl

    http://extractocoffee.com/

    http://ristrettoroasters.com/

    http://coavacoffee.com/

    http://theredecafe.com/

    http://stumptowncoffee.com/

    if you are going to work for PPS stay in Multnomah county. Clackamas and Washington county are too far of a commute. west of the hills over downtown is seriously congested during commute times it can take 90 minutes from Beaverton to downtown.
    #14
  15. Jazz62

    Jazz62 Long timer

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    Thank you very much.
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  16. Rockcat

    Rockcat LDA

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    I don't think Portland is worse than Chicago for Real Estate. Portland has many distinct neighborhoods, what do you like? What surprised me when I was transferred here in 2007 is the traffic. Living by where you work is a big plus.
    #16
  17. taranaki

    taranaki Gaucho Marx

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    One formula; select a neighborhood with good transit/walking/cycling options to work and city diversions and quick access to a freeway for getting outa' Dodge.

    I'm in St. Johns and the drive to downtown (hwy. 30) is 15 minutes, Vancouver WA (I-5) in 10, fire roads in about 30, the coast (hwy. 26) in around 2 hours, Seattle (I-5) in about 3, I-84 and points east about 20, and PDX (free moto parking!) about 20. Rush hours around the freeways......your mileage may vary.

    Even 'up here' I could do fine without a car. 4 bus lines are nearby with connections to light rail and the whole city is mapped with decent bike routes.
    #17
  18. BLU HWY

    BLU HWY Maverick Lemming

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    Portland is loaded with jazz clubs.
    May be good to network with fellow musicians/ club people?

    Haven't been out for a long time & others may know of good ones.
    http://www.jsojazzscene.org/calendar.htm

    The Arrivederci is out a-ways, could be worth a visit.
    http://www.arrivederciwine.com/

    Streaming KMHD 89.1: http://www.opb.org/kmhd/events/
    KPLU in Seattle is good.

    We had a bohemian scene & some good funky housing if you looked around the edges; some may still exist.
    May be some housing leads on boards at Reed College, Lewis & Clark, Portland State depending on
    time of year.

    Have fun...!
    #18
  19. pdxthmper

    pdxthmper Been here awhile

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    check out SW portland, it is not HIP. close to 1-5/26/217, and typically your commute will be opposite of most people, so traffic isn't as bad in the morning and evenings. basic burbs.
    Areas around gabriel park, multnomah, hillsdale, and down to Lake O are nice. all have easy access to get to the rest of greater portland, without actually being stuck out in beaverton or tigard due to congestion, and sprawl.
    #19
  20. PDXLoki

    PDXLoki Not Dirty. Yet.

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    All good advice here. One thing worth mentioning is the rush hour traffic to Vancouver, Washington. Generally speaking, housing in Vancouver is cheaper, so people often opt to live there. But, because there are only two bridges that cross the river, traffic can be brutal, especially on I5. Not as bad on I205. If you think Vancouver is an option, you should probably check out some traffic maps during rush hour first.

    I think what people have said about getting out of town has been spot on. To be reductive, if your recreation is mountains, you'll probably want to live on the east side of dodge. Ocean, west side.

    I grew up a few hours from Chicago. My take on the winter weather here is that it's easier than where you're at now. Yes, it rains. But, you will never walk outside and have your lungs seize on frozen air. Your boogers will never freeze. Your car won't need to be jumped because the cold. On the rare occasion you need to scrape your car windows, it will take 2 minutes, not an act of Congress and a standing army.

    Last thing. Speaking as a confirmed UHaul slut, there is always one comforting thing to remember before a big move: if you know a little bit about the new place and love it, think much more you will once you really know it.

    Hope to see you here!
    #20